Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Wrestlemania of Football III

Football & wrestling: an odd couple
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Since starting this blog, each Super Bowl Sunday I've written a piece entitled "The Wrestlemania of Football."  It's a play on words as many call Wrestlemania the Super Bowl of wrestling.  Get it?  Clever, right?  Anyway, each year I look back remember football players getting involved in the world of wrestling.  Here are the posts from 2011 & 2012.

Kevin Greene, Ric Flair, Roddy Piper
Slamboree 1997
Photo courtesy: WWE
Kevin Greene: 
WWE did a feature today too on NFL players who turned to wrestling.  One of them on their list is Kevin Greene.  Some may remember him appearing with Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage at a Clash of Champions prior to his own appearance in the Super Bowl.  Greene would eventually put on the tights and step into the ring, teaming with Steve "Mongo" McMichael.  Mongo turned heel in the match and joined the Four Horsemen (one of the worst Horsemen ever as far as I'm concerned).  Greene wrestled a few more times, including a victory over McMichael.  He also teamed with Ric Flair and Roddy Piper at Slamboree 1997 in a winning effort against Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Syxx.  The football star won the fall for his team by pinning Syxx.

Mike Adamle
Monday Night Raw
Photo courtesy: WWE
Mike Adamle: Here's one that blew my mind.  Those of you who read this blog regularly know I'm not a big sports fan anyway.  I was surprised to discover that one of Raw's worst General Managers of all time is a former NFL star.  That's right, Mike Adamle played in the pros.  Apparently he played for seven years in New York, Kansas City, and Chicago.  While Adamle never wrestled in the WWE, he was a footnote in the company's history as both an interviewer, commentator, and as I mentioned GM.

Mankind beats the Rock
Halftime Heat
Photo courtesy: WWE
Halftime Heat: In the late 1990's when wrestling was red hot, the WWE came up with a concept on Super Bowl Sunday.  It was called Halftime Heat.  Basically USA broadcast a match at halftime of the 1999 Super Bowl.  On that particular evening, Mankind beat the Rock for the WWE championship in an empty arena match.  It was a huge milestone for the company and I believe ended up being the highest rated episode of Sunday Night Heat ever.  The WWE accomplished exactly what it set out to do that night in attracting viewers from the Big Game.  If memory serves, that was also the year the WWE featured an ad during the game too.

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